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Convergence Devices and the eWorkPlace January 11, 2006

Posted by poseidongroove in PSP.
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Happy New Year. Hope you all have a wonderful year. Sorry it’s been quite a while since my last post a few reasons. One of my twins was ill a few times in December. Work deadlines and inevitable burnout before and after the holiday.
I know a lot of stuff has been said about Web 2.0 or how the semantic web might change the world. I tend to think in synergistic terms for example how relevant is a piece of technology when it’s applied to a context or used in a business scenario.

So I’ve had the Sony PSP for the last few months and I’ve got to say it’s the best present I’ve ever got and it’s my favourite gadget of all time. Besides games many people instantly think of the PSP as a Movie Player. I tend to demand a lot more from any device I own. Think run of the mill features such as PDA and Music Player. I’ve owned a Toshiba e805 for quite a few years and got bored with it. It did a fairly decent job as a Music Player as well as long as you have PocketMusic I refused to buy the iPod because what it offered me was limited.

Anyhow, the PSP can do a lot more than the above; consider this, if you’re a business person always on business trips, on a train, waiting to catch a plane. After, you’ve finished getting drunk on email from your Blackberry. It’s nice to unwind with something. If you don’t fancy reading a book, Try getting the PSP to kill the boredom of that cross-Atlantic flight.

As a gadget lover, my preferences are for devices that can test and relax my brain at the same time. So I can watch and listen to my favourite Podcasts/Videocasts. Of course most of this has a heavy science and technology slant. (Sorry, I’ve not had a chance to add the names of the cover page yet).

More importantly, Streaming Podcasts over WIFI @ home or work has effectively replaced most of the time I spend with the Radio. I now listen to BBC Radio 4’s excellent In Our Time and For Immediate Release (Business IT Stories Review)
Time shifting is King. I can now decide when I want to listen to or watch exactly what caters for my interest and not some mind numbing Reality Programme on TV.

The best part is there are some excellent games you can play on the PSP. If you want to exercise your brain try Go Sudoku, PQ: Practical Intelligence Quotient, My favourite games are Metal Gear Acid a card based strategy game that tests your skills in Stealth Warfare. It’s one of the best games I’ve ever played. Wipeout Pure is a Hovercraft Racing League and finally Lumines an excellent puzzle game with great audio and video effects to boot.

I use Sony Media Manager to synch feeds, movies and videos to the memory stick in my PSP. The one thing I hated was I had to pay for it. I don’t think Sony really understand the whole digital world thing yet. It seems like the content division and the hardware divisions don’t see eye to eye. Compared to iTunes which I downloaded for free. I use iTunes for browsing new feeds; I also use Odeo and a few other Podcatchers. One thing I really hate about iTunes is that you can’t export feeds you’ve subscribed to as XML (OPML). I always have to manually add them again into my PSP Media Manager.

My entire music library at home is also published as RSS Feeds found some excellent hacks here. Meaning, I can listen to my entire music collection anywhere in the world as long as I’ve got WIFI without carrying them around. Fab. I really, don’t think Sony understand what they’ve got. If only it was Apple that released the PSP. It’ll be in most folks pocket now. (I guess Jobs has got something similar up his sleeves now).

This post isn’t really meant to be a PSP review. My main argument is that organisations need to harness the power of convergence devices to make software that radically deliver useable services for consumers, employees and the company. For example, iTunes is a great application for delivering Podcasts and Videocasts. The ecosystem of any organisation should be dynamic living and breathing. At the moment, most portals/intranets are fact sheets graveyards. Won’t it be great if you can harvest knowledge relevant to your business available as Podcasts and publish it in your eWorkPlace?

I’ve learnt a lot more on the web in the last couple of years than I would have imagined just listening to Podcasts. eLearning suddenly sounds like a great and interesting thing to do now. I guess it is just listening to good feeds like Science Friday.

Web 2.0 and SOA also have a long way to go before they can be useable to mainstream consumers. Imagine if you can subscribe to an RSS Feed in iTunes or your PSP which essentially is a service that periodically updates the firmware of your in-car computer. The Satellite Navigation even! Rather than ship them on CD/DVD when you buy the car.

The possibilities of the technologies and gadgets we have access to now are endless. Web 2.0 is still misunderstood as just about Social Software. Service Oriented Architecture is perceived as IT Components Reuse. Combined this could really be the age of software as content and service.

Finally, if you really want to explore the possibilities of the digital revolution around you, the PSP is a great gadget to start with. An indication of the possibilities of convergent devices can be read in this article describing how the PSP was used to remotely control a car

Hopefully, I should be able to get back to regular posting.

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